Sometimes it can be hard for artists to break out of predetermined molds.
Almost two years after the release of Louis Tomlinson’s first album Walls, his second album Faith In The Future came out on Nov. 11. The 2000s pop feel and catchy melodies make the album enjoyable to listen to, but they do not offer variety or a new sound for Tomlinson, a former One Direction member.
The tracks on the new album are reminiscent of Tomlinson’s music with One Direction. Faith In The Future is a step toward finding his own unique sound, but Tomlinson still has a long way to go in making a full departure from his 1D days.
Before the release of Faith In The Future, Tomlinson released singles “Bigger Than Me,” “Out of My System,” and “Silver Tongues.” While the themes of love and heartbreak in Tomlinson’s songs are relatable, he fails to challenge himself lyrically, instead writing songs that are straightforward and predictable.
On “Silver Tongues,” Tomlinson first explores themes of love and relationships by describing happy moments that arise from being with someone. The lyrics of the chorus don’t leave room for interpretation, only providing a one-sided view of his life.
“Nights like these, we’ll remember those stupid jokes / Only we know / You know, when I’m with you, I’m so much happier,” Tomlinson sings.
The love songs on the album feel bittersweet because of the heartbreak Tomlinson refers to on “Face The Music” and “That’s The Way Love Goes,” which are about holding on to love that seems to be already gone.
In “That’s The Way Love Goes,” Tomlinson addresses the feeling of heartbreak, but with a cliche metaphor.
“When it cuts you, when you bleed / That’s when you’re feelin’ it the most / That’s the way, that’s the way love goes,” he sings.
“Angels Fly,” “Chicago,” “Headline,” and “Saturdays” are about the aftermath of lost love—the heartbreak, the longing, and the acceptance and lingering love that remains. “Saturdays” also introduces the theme of change—whether that is a result of the heartbreak or in terms of identity—that carries through into “Bigger Than Me” and “Common People.”
“We used to say / ‘Saturdays take the pain away’ / Nobody stays the same / No matter how much you want it,” Tomlinson sings on “Saturday.”
Although the album is about the evolution of a broken heart, the upbeat nature of multiple songs on the album and the lyrics imply that Tomlinson is healing and changing in a healthy and beneficial way.
“When somebody told me I would change / I was afraid, I don’t know why / ‘Cause so does the world outside,” Tomlinson sings on “Bigger Than Me.”
Faith In The Future was a clear progression from Tomlinson’s debut album, but he continues to lack individuality and fails to challenge himself to step further out of the One Direction–esque theme of heartbreak, predictable lyrics, and 2000s pop sound.